Patton earns a bronze for R-S girls at state

Joe Randleman Staff Writer
Roland-Story’s Rachel Patton clears five feet, four inches during the Class 2A girls’ high jump at the state coed track meet Friday in Des Moines. Patton ended up placing third in the event.

DES MOINES — Roland-Story’s Rachel Patton didn’t see this coming.

Patton entered Friday’s Class 2A girls’ high jump competition at the state coed track meet in Des Moines just hoping to place. She did more than that.

Patton earned a bronze medal by finishing third with a jump of five feet, four inches at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.

When it was announced Patton had taken third, she was a little emotional. She waved her hand over her face and broke out a huge smile.

“I was hoping to get at least eighth place,” Patton said. “I wasn’t expecting third. So that made me really excited. I got overwhelmed.”

Patton cleared 4-8, 4-10 and five feet on her first attempt. It took her a couple tries to get 5-2, then she attempted 5-4.

On her second jump Patton cleared the bar, matching her career-best effort.

“I felt amazing,” Patton said. “I made my goal for today, so we’re just going to leave it at that and just do the best I can.”

When the bar went up to 5-6, Patton gave a valiant attempt. She came close, but couldn’t make it all the way over on any of her three attempts.

“I was really close to 5-6, which was a little disappointing, but I’m just happy because I got third place,” Patton said. “I’m very proud of myself for how I jumped.”

No other jumper in 2A managed to clear 5-6. Southeast Valley’s Kiersten Fisher won the event after taking the fewest attempts to jump 5-4 and Regina Catholic’s Jaedynn Evans came in second.

The Norse girls competed in three other events at state. Their 4 X 800-meter relay team just missed placing on Thursday by coming in ninth, their 4 X 400 team took 19th in Friday’s prelims and Reece Johnson finished 23rd in the 1,500 on Saturday.

Kylie Tjernagel, Madeline Morton, Juliann Clark and Johnson completed the 4 X 800 in 10 minutes, 8.39 seconds. Behind PR legs from Tjernagel and Clark, they finished less than a second behind the final scoring time of 10:07.54 by Sioux Center.

“These girls have so much determination and drive,” Roland-Story head girls’ track coach Natalie Whipple said. “They really work well together.”

Western Christian won the 4 X 800 with a new 2A record time of 9:24.76.

In the 4 X 400 Tjernagel, Morton and Clark joined up with Taryn Johnston to run a 4:15.24.

“Taryn wasn’t feeling the greatest, but didn’t want to not run her last race down on the blue oval,” Whipple said. “Her teammates did a good job cheering her on and pepping her up. She had a great run, as all the girls did.”

Treynor went on to win the 2A girls’ 4 X 400 finals on Saturday with a 4:01.88 showing.

Johnson completed the 1,500 in 5:20.67. It was her personal-best effort of the season.

“She always pushed herself and kept improving each meet!,” Whipple said.

Roland-Story ended up in a three-way tie with Estherville-Lincoln Central and Dike-New Hartford for 38th in the final 2A girls’ team standings with six points. Mid-Prairie won the 2A girls’ team championship with 49 points.

Class 2A girls’ individual results - Roland-Story

High jump - 3. Rachel Patton, 5-4.

4 X 800-meter relay - 9. Roland-Story (Kylie Tjernagel, Madeline Morton, Juliann Clark, Johnson), 10:08.39.

1,500-meter run - 23. Johnson, 5:20.67.

4 X 400-meter relay - 19. Roland-Story (Tjernagel, Taryn Johnston, Morton, Clark), 4:15.24.